Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Dear fellow Babblers,

I’ve decided at 4:26 this morning to tag myself in Michaela at Journey into Books, Mandy at Book Princess Reviews, and Emma at A Dreamer’s Library for the Mid Year Freak Out Tag. If you’re a book geek like the rest of us book bloggers who live off the thrill of fictional universes and live vicariously through our favorite characters they you will absolutely ADORE these gals’ sites, so definitely check them out. No! Wait! Not yet! Finish my babble first! You started, mind as well finish!

My post is being written before the sun rises as a response to my insomnia. I usually don’t have such trouble sleeping and, maybe its the fact that I’m super hungry with nothing at home to eat, or it could be that I’m worrying over my future having recently graduated university, or… My Goodreads challenge is set at 100 books this year and I’m only at 29 ?!?!?! This, my lovelies, is what happens when you begin babbling for a living. But, in my defense, I’m a book babbler so of course some time is taken away from reading to babble about what I’m reading!

So, lets get started on the Mid Year Freak Out Tag which just about sums up my life this summer.

crazy cat

               1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far In 2017 ?

Typical bibliophile answer: ” So many, how can I choose ? “. Dude, just choose, you ain’t gambling a life here.
I would definitely say The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (check out my full musing over the novel here), I adored the novel for its mystery, suspense, slight romance – an 800-page read that I would gladly read over again if there weren’t still so many other novels still waiting for me in my TBR pile!
donna-tartt-image-from-bbc
A Summer of Drowning by John Burnside (another full musing can be found here) is another book I especially enjoyed. Burnside is originally a poet and even though, in my reader experience, it’s difficult for authors to switch between literary forms, Burnside is not only a great poet, but has proven, with A Summer of Drowning, to be a phenomenal novelist as well.
summer-of-drowning

Now, onward!

               2. Best Sequel Of 2017 So Far ?

How do I say this without losing the 72 followers that I have been awarded during my month-long career so far as book blogger…?
Mehh – who am I kidding? I’ve read no series yet this year despite the year being halfway through.
*nostalgic sigh*
If only J.K. Rowling would continue with the Harry Potter Series or Lemony Snicket would make a dramatic return with more of his slanderous torture of the Baudelaire children then perhaps I would have something to offer y’all in terms of a favorite, but here we are with yet more of my endless nonsense… Next question puh-leese!

               3. New Releases You Haven’t Read Yet but Want To ?

Oooo! Oooo! Ooo! I know. Guesses anyone? Come on now – educated guess bibliophiles, or are you still lamenting over the disappointment we all felt in reading Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (another babble for another day, but only if ya stick with me here !).
Okay, I’ll give you a hint: Any of you read my last post on Throwback Thursday ? We entered Murakami’s surrealistically fantastical imagination with a reveiw of Kafka on the Shore.
*irritable groans*
Yes! Whoever said Men without Women is right on target! Okay, so Haruki Murakami is definitely not for every reader out there. Some of us like magical realism, while others like political literature… and then there’s Murakami. His novels and short stories are so fulfilling for me. The way he traverses through multiple character’s minds and leads us into climactic situations is just what I want in my reading experience. He builds pscyhological suspense and makes us think about our everyday life in creative new ways that leads us to change our very perceptiosn about reality.

men without women
I’ve recently fisnisehd his collection of short stories, The Elephant Vanishes, and I look forward to kicking off my July TBR with Men Without Women (but first I’ll be reviewing The Elephant Vanishes as well as finisheing and babbling on Herman Koch’s Dear Mr. M). Men Without Women is yet another collection of Murakami’s short stories. It conists of seven narrative-seeming tales which bring the author’s allusive thinking together with a series of vanishing cats, solitary men and powerful meditations – all which reflect his romantic and evocative thinking.

4. Most Anticipated Release Of The Second Half Of 2017 ?

Before writing and posting I usually read others book reviews and participate in discussions just to give me some inspiration for my own writing. As a result, I come across a lot, and I mean like A LOT of books and authors that I have never heard of and hear about new releases which make there way across the computer space into my physcial TBR pile. I just read Jasmine at How Useful It Is‘ (FYI: if you ever want to be a successful book reader/blogger/writer – anything bookish – visiting her site is an absolute must! It’s so creative and her posts are always a pleasure to read so I reccommend for all!) review of Emily Bain Murphy’s The Disappearances and I’m already fantasizing the sun coming up on America the Beautiful’s July 04, the day of the novels release. The premise, a mystery surrounding a mother’s death and the lives her children are thereafter swept into, seems really intriguing and I just may find myself snuggled in a corner on my country’s birthday reading The Disappearances.

the disappearances

5. Biggest Disappointment ?

Heavens. Dare we even go there… The Circle, without a doubt was just a terrible read and I, as a book babbler suffered so much in reading that book and it just may explain the reading slump I’ve been having to deal with since finishing it. For more on this book babbler’s horrid mental breakdown read my honest review here.

The Circle, Dave Eggers

6. Biggest Surprise ?

I discovered, like most of us, Lang Leav in the poetry section of my local Barnes & Noble and instantly fell in love with her voice. The way she describes and touches upon themes such as memory, dream and sleep, and coming-of-age love is so charming that I would have expected a novel from her to be somewhat similar. She published her first novel, Sad Girls, in March and it is indeed a teenage tale with all the elements of young love and depression that we recall from her verses, but the language went totally out the window. The book is heavy in dialogue and the descriptions are brief, but, in my opinion, are compensated for by the unique plot twists and chilling ending. Likewise, a full and honest review of Sad Girls can be found here.

Sad Girls, Lang Leav, updated

      7. Favorite New Author (Debut Or New To You) ?

I have babbled too much on Murakami so I won’t bore you there again. I think Donna Tartt has earned this slot. The Secret History was the first book I read from her, followed by The Goldfinch and The Little Friend (discussion and review found here). Her characters are always unique – not always likable, but definitely have a way of causing us to confront certain pieces of reality such as the power that art has over us and how we deal with hate and seek revenge.

       8. Newest Fictional Crush ?

The Russian bad boy from The Goldfinch, Boris. He definitely screams ” YOLO ” with his underground griminess and sketchy silhouette.

               9. Newest Favorite Character ?

Harriet from The Little Friend just because she reminded me of a mix of Tom Sawyer and Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird (on of the few books that I was required to read in high school that I loved and wouldn’t mind rereading). Harriet seems to get away with just about every little one of her childish schemes – I wouldn’t have minded having her as a play-friend growing up.

               10. Books That Made You Cry ?

I’m a big girl, and big girls don’t cry.

               11. Book That Made You Happy ?

A Wild Swan and Other Tales by Michael Cunningham. It’s a retelling of all our favorite tales from childhood such as Jack and the Beanstock and Hansel and Gretel. I loved Cunningham’s use of intertextuality and the animated illustrations accompanying each tale. I think it mainly made me happy because of the nostalgia I felt as I was reading, remembering reading these classic tales as a child and reflecting on the different in Cunningham’s retelling.

a wild swan.jpg

wild swan graphic

               12. Favorite Book To Movie Adaption You’ve Seen This Year ?

I’m not a big movie goer, probably cause you can’t talk in the theater the way you can stop, think, and talk while reading. I only went to see the new Beauty & the Beast. Sure, it was charming, but I prefer the book soooo much more. I like to imagine and recreate the faces of characters in my imagination and traverse the fictional world an author creates for me on my own – can’t be done with a movie.

13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year ?

Well, I’m pretty new to the book blogging community. My blog is not yet a month old so it’s pretty difficult for me to choose any one review given that I’m still learning the ins and outs of book blogging, despite my having been an avid reader all through childhood and as a student of French and Comparative Literature in university.

               14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought Or Received So Far This Year ?

I wouldn’t call my choice beautiful but perhaps intriguing – The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami (yes babblers, MORE Murakami!). The story itself isn’t all that great, but I think Murakami was more interested in making the reader feel or imagine what it means to be trapped in a strange library with little means of escape and a likelihood that, should one fail to fulfill the demands of the creepy librarian, his/her brain will be eaten by the library. The reader moves through the book sort of in a notepad style by slipping the pages over. Most mages are filled with colorful illustrations of the characters as well as the library.

the strange lib

the strange lib graphic

               15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End Of The Year ?

There’s been so much talk here lately on the Shades of Magic trilogy that I feel a tad bit like a bimbo for still not having yet read any of the books. And, obviously, more Murakami!
I also hope Tartt writes some more soon – I absolutely adore her descriptive writing style and the fictional universes she manages to create and interweave with the reader’s own world.

               16. I tag ?

ALL, yes all, of my fellow book babblers.

Truly Yours,

Comments ? Questions ? Got any recommendations ? Read anything babble-worthy lately ? Let’s touch base !

( All image credits go to Google )

23 thoughts on “Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

  1. Glad you enjoyed the tag and thanks for the lovely comments. As a student of French, do you have any recommendations for some good French novels – classics or modern? I’m trying to read more of them but I’m struggling to find those that I might like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes! Absolutely! Here are some titles of some French titles and their translations in parenthesis:
      1. Un Aller Simple (One Way), Didier van Cauwelaert
      2. Allah n’est pas obligé (Allah is not obliged), Ahmadou Kourouma
      3. Memoires de porc pic (Memoirs of a Porcupine), Alain Mabanckou
      4. Verre Cassé (Shattered Glass), Alain Mabanckou
      5. Anything from Zola such as Au Bonheur de Dames is wonderful too! 🙂
      Hope that helps and happy reading! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Will do. It might take me a while though as I’ve not read anything in French since I graduated three years ago. University took all the enjoyment out of it for me so I’m slowly trying to get that back.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I read “The Elephant Vanishes,” just the singular short story, as part of my Lit class this year and loved it! I’ve been debating whether or not to read the full collection, but after your glowing review I might just have to do it:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was a little intimidated going into The Goldfinch for the same reasons and some of the meditations on art and the different worlds that Tartt creates in the novel are a bit reminiscent of Proust, but I immediately loved how Tartt was able to create so many characters and touch on so many different themes that it made up for the elaborateness of the language.
      OMG The Strange Library is soooo cool, I loved the pictures more than the actual story (a bit cliché if you asked me) but nonetheless worth the read.
      Thanks for the comment! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you loved ‘The Goldfinch! I think Donna Tartt is so brilliant, although I really struggled with ‘The Little Friend’. I thought Harriet was a great character, but the ending annoyed me soooo much! Have you read ‘The Secret History’? If not, I think you’d love it. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! The Goldfinch was wonderful – it’s by far, my favorite of Tartt’s books just because it covers sooo much in 800 pages and I never seemed to get bored.
      I know what you mean. I so was ready to find out who really murdered Harriet’s brother so the ending definitely didn’t match my expectations as a reader, but then again, maybe that’s what Tartt intended for us.
      The Secret History was my first of Tartt’s novels – LOVED it! I especially enjoyed the scenes that take place during Richard’s Greek lessons – so creepy and exquisitely superb!
      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your blog rocks! Also: are you me? Cause I totally loved the Goldfinch (remains one of the best books ever for me, and YES, Boris). And I also hated the Circle as well, and hated it with SUCH a passion, that although I read it years ago, I will still stop by anywhere I see it and use my chance to tell people what a dump it was and that they shouldn’t waste their time 😀
    Following. You seem to have really good recommendations.
    Also, this tag seems to be storming the interwebs! Haha. I will be doing it like next week cause I got tagged.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww your amazing comment just totally made my day! Thank you so much. Haha, right? What girl isn’t automatically attracted to the bad boy ?
      Heavens, The Circle! I’m still in utter shock at that atrocity… ugh Mae was just UNBEARABLE! Same here! I cannot stop ranting about The Circle, even my parents who aren’t big readers know all about it!
      Haha likewise, I’ll be sure to visit your site just the same!
      Oh yay, I look forward to reading the post 🙂
      Great meeting you Evelina, I look forward to hearing from ya soon!
      Happy Reading 🙂

      Like

      1. Mae was ridiculous 😃 what I find the hardest to understand is… how does it still sell? How do people like this? Do they… have they… have never never read BOOKS? Like, real books?? 😂
        And it’s also truly a shame to think that this excuse for a book remains in my mind brighter than some actually good books. Just because I hated it with such a passion 😥 now that’s embarrassing.
        Thanks, glad to meet you too 🙂 I will be visiting again!

        Like

  5. Congrats on completing your degree at UCLA!! And happy 1 month blogiversary!
    I’ve seen so many mixed reviews of The Circle that I’m not sure I want to read it. I only picked up the book because I got it for free at my job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! So glad it’s done and over with. Aww thank you, I’ve been loving blogging so far so many more anniversaries to come :D.
      The Circle… The Circle… The Circle… I still have nightmares just reading that book. I’m glad you didn’t have to pay money for that thing… that’s how much I hate that book (with a BURNING passion). Lol, I’m very passionate as you can see. :/

      Like

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